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Myanmar - The gilt and golden country

Myanmar, formerly called Burma, has always been a fascinating destination for travelers looking for adventure and excitement. The deplorable political situation with military regime did, however, made the country less attractive as a tourist country for many years. Since democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi was released from his many years of house arrest and was inaugurated civil government in 2011, the country has started to open up again to the outside world.

Myanmar can be said to be a combination of classic Asian landscape and genuinely smiling people, and it gives us the opportunity to see an amazing amount of ancient temples and natural attractions. Our journey from Yangoon through Bagan and Mandalay to Inle Lake was a panorama of exotic activity, farmers plowing with their oxen, women in fishing villages, who was washing clothes against rocks in the riverbank and monks in their saffron robes marching in line to the pagodas in gold-plated domes.

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In Myanmar you can experience guided tours to the best of more than 4,000 Stuka and temples in the archaeological Pagan zone. You can probably not experience anything more magnificent in the world, with the possible exception of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

To get the most out of a trip to Myanmar, we recommend that you prepare by reading about Burma and its culture beforehand. Lonely Planet’s Myanmar (Burma) and Burma / Myanmar: What everyone needs to know, by David I. Steinberg is recommended

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We traveled with Thai Air direct from Gardemoen to Bangkok, 11 hours, with stopovers on to Yangon (formerly Rangoon), today the capital of Myanmar. It´s often called the East Garden because of its many parks and beautiful lakes. The flight with Thai was comfortable with an amazing service on board.

Visa on Arrival (USD 30) was arranged in advance through a territorial agent, EPG Travel, who had also arranged with the guide, Erik Zaw Moe Than. He has 17 years of experience as an official guide. He met us at the airport and took part in the journey. erikzaw@gmail.com. Tel + 95-95160060.

Yangon

The airport in Yangon is spacious and efficient; our luggage was taken care by the airport personnel and brought directly on board the bus. The only thing our group had to do was to ensure that the suitcases had arrived.

From the airport, we went straight to Kandawgui Lake, one of the two largest lakes in Yangoon. There we got our first close up with one of the many great Buddhist gold plated symbols, a huge restaurant boat shaped like a moored vessel. Which arranges show dinner in the evenings.

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In the district Pabedan, we find the Scotts market in a beautiful colonial style building. The building was built in 1926, and is named after James George Scott, a British private person who actually introduced English football to the country. The market consists of more than 2,000 stores that sell everything from antiques, arts, crafts and jewelry. It is truly a shopping paradise compared to other Asian countries. Especially is it profitable to buy rubies, as the country recovers itself.

According to historical records have Schwedagon Pagoda existed for more than 2,600 years, making it the historically oldest pagoda in Myanmar and the world. It´s an imposing edifice, and since it was one of the first pagodas we visited we were amazed. According to legends, there was two merchant brothers, Taphussa and Bhallika, from the country Ramanya, who met Lord Gautama Buddha during his lifetime and received eight peace’s of his hair in year 588 B.C. The brothers return to their homeland in Myanmar, and with the help of the local ruler, King Okkalapa, they found the way to Singuttara mountain where relics of previous Buddhas were buried. When the brothers opened the golden coffer with peace’s from the hair, strange things began to happen.

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According to some historians and archaeologists, was Pagoda built by the Mon people between the sixth and tenth. Century B.C. The temple is standing majestically with its huge gold gilded stupa in the middle.

The lunch, which we possessed at Zawguvi House in the centrum. A great lunch with drinks cost 5,900 local kyat, which is about 40 Norwegian kroner or 4 Euro. Dinner later that evening, we went to the restaurant 365. Local, good wine created a great atmosphere.

However we took an early night, because we didn´t get any sleep since the flight, and for several of us were the sleep on the plane, not that much. We stayed at a decent three star city center hotel, Yazan Garden Hotel, with large rooms and nice bathrooms, a 15-minute walk from the main street. (yazanagardenhotel@gmail.com.) The swimming pool was filled with water that was so murky, that no one was tempted to take a bath. Even if we wanted to, we didn´t had   much time, because we were going to a new place at dawn the next morning.

Bagan

The flight to Bagan with Yangon Airways takes one hour. Through the window of the plane, we see Bagan lying there below us in the early morning light. No doubt that this is the temple town. More than 2,000 temples and stupas, over 1500 years old, is all over the landscape with Irrawaddy River in the background.

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We visited the huge local Nyaung Oo market where locals can buy everything from vegetables, fruits, meat and fish to groceries, clothing and equipment. Not far from the market, down by the river, lies the beautifully The Beach Restaurant, and the food there was good and tasty.

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The highlight of the day was the boat ride in a longtail boat that took 20 people. On the river, we could observe the daily life in Batan. Citizens brushing their teeth, washed themselves, took a bath and washed clothes, and the river was hopefully cleaner than the brown water looked like.

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The dinner at the hotel Thazin Garden this evening, which we took out on the lawn with a lit temple as background. This made us in a good mood, and the food tasted excellent. Food and local wine cost about 120 Norwegian kroner or 13 Euro pr. pax. Local wine in Myanmar is surprisingly tasty.

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The next day we devoted to see temples, and we first traveled out to Dhammayazika, which in the local language means “belonging Act king”. The inscription indicates that King Narapatisithu received four sacred relics in 1197 from the King of Sri Lanka, and he built the massive pagoda in 1198 to keep the Buddha’s sacred relics. The structure of Dhammayazika Pagoda is pentagonal temples with a Buddha figure in each. There are three backward terraces ornamented with Jataka plaques.

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We ate lunch at the Green Elephant way down at the Ayeyarwady River. It is a great, airy establishment where we could sit under a roof on an open terrace. Good food and friendly staff. Same owner, a lady who we saluted, also restaurants Mandaley and Yangon.

In the village Minanthu, where people still live after old customs, we got a close contact with citizens; we were invited to tea in their house and got to experience the cotton spinning, wheel manufacturing and other traditional crafts. Lacquerware is a specialty in this area. On the farms, there they had cows, bulls and goats, and the village had electricity. It was dug a well in the village where people at certain times could come and pick up water.

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We finished our temple day with a visit to one of the big pagodas, Lawkananda, and King Anawratha built it in his reign in 1059. Pagoda is stored in Buddha Tooth Relic in Bagan, and it´s close to the Ayeyarwaddy River.

From the top of the temple, we were able to see beyond the landscape of Bagan with all its gilded domes and towers, most of all resembled a wonderland. Sunset from the top of temple with view of gilded landscape we will probably never forget.

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Tonight’s dinner was taken at a local restaurant, Nanda, where we got a large platter divided into eight sections filled with plenty and good food. For dessert, we got lovely fresh fruit, and during the meal, we were entertained by local music and puppetry.

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In Bagan, we stayed for two nights at Thazin Garden Hotel. The hotel had a large garden with swimming pool. Disappointing moment when we learned that the pool was under renovation, so the long-awaited swim adventure, we just had look far for. Since we couldn´t take a swim, there were several in our group who chose massage. The price was about 100 Norwegian kroner or 11 Euro for an hour, nothing to say about the price, but the masseurs were not professional enough.

During the day, we had visited the four-star hotel Aureum Palace Resort, and if we were to choose hotel ourselves, we would have chosen this hotel. We could rent a Grand de luxe bungalow for 1,800 kroner or 194 Euro a day or large, good de luxe rooms to 850 million in low season. Great value in a hotel with beautifully landscaped gardens and large outdoor pool.

Mandalay

Then finally, the day has come for our departure to Mandalay, Myanmar’s second largest city with two million inhabitants. We arrived a large, pretty oversized airport far out in the country with over an hour’s drive into town. Mandalay is today the new capital in an area that is 66 square kilometers surrounded by four rivers. In June 1857 the former Royal Palace in Amarapura (the immortal city) moved with elephants to the current location at the foot of Manadalay Hill.

Since the city is not far from the border with China, is about one-third of the city’s population of Chinese descent, and the food here is marked strong by Chinese influence.

Our first stop here. Was at the world’s longest bridge in U shape. It was lovely to stroll beyond the bridge, watching the fishermen on the river and those who rowed their boats. This was the end of the rainy season so the river was full of water. During the dry season, the bridge can almost stand on dry land. We saw villagers who waded into waist in the water, pushing its triangular fish net in front of them. Wetland birds circled over in hopes of being able to dive down and catch fish that had escaped the net.

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In Amapura we visited a large monastery that served as a monk school for 1,000 monks. The monks eat only two meals a day, breakfast and lunch. Since we arrived there at lunchtime, it was an endless procession of monks of all ages who stood waiting in front of a monstrous Dining with their rice balls and mugs. Such ceremonies does not happen every day, only when sponsors have given something special, something that apparently was the case this day. The monks and novices have 275 rules they must adhere to. Within the monastery, they often have very good schools, also have their own university. Many poor countries sends therefore often their young in a convent so that they get a good education.

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In Mahamuni pagoda-there is a huge golden Buddha, where people who bought gold leaf can come and stick it in the figure. We were told that it could be 15 centimeters thick gold coating in some places on the figure. We also visited a workshop hammered out gold leaf gold, and it was interesting to see how hard and demanding this process actually is. Every little gold piece hammered for hours by hand until it is thin enough. There were men who hammered; while the women performed the fine finger, work was needed.

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The lunch that day was served at Golden Shan Restaurant, 84st. between 22 st and 23 st. A local and very tasty meal.

In Mandalay, we stayed at a three star hotel, Mandalay Swan, which was centrally located on one of the moats of the fortress in the middle of town. It was comfortable with a small sofa, but the bathrooms could use a little upgrade. The positive was that it was swimming pool in a nice garden in an atrium. Finally, we got the long awaited swim. Personally, I was so anxious that I forgot that I had the cell phone in the pocket of my swimming trunks and swam with it. It was the ending of that phone.

After a refreshing break, we visited Shwenandaw Temple, as the locals call teak Temple. It is an interesting wooden building, which actually resembles a Norwegian stake church. Originally, it served as the residence of King Mindon, but was later converted into a Buddhist monastery. It´s one of the few buildings that survived the city’s destruction. The main building is built on piles of teak and surrounded by a wood. All balustrades and roof cornices are beautifully carved.

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The highlight of this day was to visit Kuthodaw Temple, which houses the world’s largest book! It was Mindon Min got Pagoda built as a main point of the new royal city of Mandalay in 1857. He wanted to leave behind a memory and got Tipitaka, Sri Lankan Buddhist bible, cut in stone. Construction began in 1860 and the inscriptions were opened to the public on 4 May 1868. The books are arranged in rows in three areas, 42 in the first, 168 in middle and 519 in the third. There is a fourth in the southeastern corner so that in everything becomes 730 rows of book pages, which makes this a carved stone record.

The day ended with trip in green jeeps, who most reminded of relics from World War II, up to Mandalay Hill where we had a wonderful view over the city and countryside. Emotions flowed along the way, and even people in the tourism industry and travel journalists must admit that this is already an experience of a lifetime.

We were suggested to have dinner at a restaurant just a few blocks from the hotel, A Little Bit of Mandalay. It was a laudable suggestion. Great food, wine and beer at reasonable prices. They served also an exceptionally tasty local rum (yes, they stock actually room in Myanmar).

Inle Lake (*

A half hour flight next morning brought us to town Hoho located 1,250 meters above sea level, and now we were excited about our final destination, which we had heard so much about before. Inle Lake is the second largest lake in Myanmar with an estimated size of 116 square kilometers. It`s at 800 meters altitude and is the deepest 3.7 meters outside the rainy season. In the rainy season, the water may rise by 1.5 meters.

From Hoho we drove about one hour down to a small town by the lake. Where they have a market day, every fifth day, and what is the odds for that market, would be in full action when we arrived. It was not in the program, but we got half an hour to disposal, and it is always exciting to mingle with the locals and take part in the hectic market activities. This is a market for locals, so it was not something we needed to act, but we bought some oranges.

A visit to the vineyard Red Mountain Estate was not a part of the program, but since there were many wine enthusiasts in our group, we drove up to the winery, located in southern Shan district. On the vineyard, they grown red grapes types of shiraz, pinot noir, cabernet, merlot, Temperanillo, Carignan and Petit Verdot. The white grape layers includes sauvignon blanc, muscat, chardonnay and chening blanc. Grape crops are imported from Europe. The farm is located at 1000 meters altitude and supplies throughout Myanmar. The management said they now plan extensions allowing them to export wine to Japan and parts of China. The wines we tasted is fully on par with wines from the new wine countries.

From Red Mountain the trip went to the marina Nyaung Schwe, in the northern end of Insle Lake where we boarded the longtail boats. It was good to get out on the water now, and in the great weather was wonderful, and to feel the wind in skin and hair towards the hotel, Golden Island Cottages, which are built on piles out in the sea.

Where there are individual cottages, that all have balconies with wonderful sea views. It would be a good starting point for attractions in and around the lake. The atmosphere is quite magical here, about an hour’s boat ride from the mainland, and it is especially walking on the piers between the cabins and contemplate life at sea and water lilies into the sea between the piles.

After delivering luggage at the hotel, it was out to the boats again to experience more of the surroundings. At this time of year, it may suddenly get tropical rain and it was not long after we had left the hotel pier before it rain down. The boats are however equipped with both umbrellas and rainwear, so we got almost very dry from the forces of nature.

Among the attractions we managed to visit was a workshop for spinning of lotus threads and weaving of raw silk and the temple “Jumping Cat”, where monks had previously trained homeless cats to jump, hence the name.

It was good to recuperate again back at the hotel in the afternoon, now that the impressions from both this area and the rest of the trip stood in line. In addition, we had to look forward into the next day.

Longtail boats transported us up a river to an almost down grown temple in an area that resembled a location for recording an Indiana Jones movie. Here was a genuine temple ruins, which was protected by the authorities. Many other temples are gilded with no thought of the original building shape, often financed by government as for war damage.

The whole area was genuinely. Here they cut crops and locals to show a true and originally Myanmar. Colorful, lush and rare plants and smiling people who did their daily chores without noticing us as tourists. We soaked up the impressions and just enjoyed life.

We visited several places and villages that are built on stilts, and everywhere there were nice people and kids that took a swim and had fun in the murky water while hens and roosters crossed the paths we walked on. In the background, we could hear prayer voices from the local Buddhist Temple as monotonous background. In and around the houses we passed people kept on with their daily activities, whether it was a laundry service, repair of boats and engines or changing clothes.

Very special meeting we had was when we talked with a paudang-woman. There is a tribe that extends necks with brass rings, popularly called Long neck ladies.

Among the crafts companies we visited, was spinning mills, production workshop for Buddha figures and clogs, cigar manufacturing, production of rice paper and re- move and fan manufacturing. Poverty was visible, but people were characterized by real delight and was apparently pleased the little they had. On the water went worked its usual time for fishermen and seagrass workers. We were particularly impressed with the fishermen who are behind on their boats on one leg and steer tiller with the others while simultaneously using both arms to keep track of yarn. And among them paddle mothers with their children in tiny boats to and from school. A paradise for photographers.

During lunch at the restaurant Green Chilly came a crazy downpour. We were sitting outside on the patio, but it was fortunately not that far to the covered part, so neither this time we were soaked.

It was a simple dinner at the hotel this last evening before departure next morning. Plenty to eat and drink cost about a Norwegian 100 kr or 11 Euro pr. Pax

Beaches in Myanmar

After a week with many impressions, many movements and travel activities were plentiful, and someone in the group who could have imagined a few days relaxing on the beaches of the west coast of Myanmar. That was not something we had planned, but 40 minutes flight from Yangon, or five hours by car or bus, are golden sandy beaches, swaying palm trees and crystal clear waters in the Bay of Bengal. There are many good hotels and a beach life that can compare with the best holiday destinations in the world. The most famous beach areas are Ngapali Beach and Ngwe Saung Beach.

Last day we had to get up early. We were traveling with both boat and bus to get to the airport in Hoho to return to Yangon. All our domestic flights was good with ATR-72 aircraft that was always on time and had a service-minded and friendly staff. In Yangon, we had plenty of time before the flight home, so it was time to see a bit of the city itself. Among other things, we went to see the property to Aung San Suu Kyi, located in University Street. You can look almost nothing but the wall facing the street with barbed wire barrier over, but the circumstances surrounding the Nobel laureate gave us anyway a special feeling

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Facts about Myanmar

Myanmar, formerly called Burma, had military regime since 1962, when General Ne Win staged a military coup. The current junta, which was formed in 1988, rejected the results of a democratic parliamentary election in 1990 that were won by the party of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

In 1991, Aung San Suu Kyi the Nobel Peace Prize. She is the daughter of Aung San, one of the heroes who made the country independent from the British monarchy in 1948. She was held under house arrest for 15 years.

After many years of stagnation happens now rapid changes in Myanmar, despite the fact that it still is the military who make the rules. Resident’s hopes, however, today that the country gets released from the authoritarian Soviet-like financial management, which made the majority of the country’s 55 million inhabitants live in poverty.

The former General U Thein Sein, who came to power in March 2011, controls today towards democratization and violates hard with the highly centralized power usage from the military board. He has released a large number of former political prisoners, who rebelled against the state-controlled economy. It was also the beginning of Aung San Suu KUI release from house arrest in 2010.

From having been a closed country for many years, is now  Myanmar opening itself to the outside world. There are still shortage of good hotels, but tourists can now feel safe, and with a population with so much warmth and cordiality and a country with such a rich and intriguing history, there is a growing tourist destination.

In May this year decided Obama administration for easing investment restrictions in Myanmar, a measure that was followed by adjustments to the restrictions in the EU and Australia.

President Thein Sein traveled earlier this year to Tokyo and asked for financial support. Today working twenty Japanese engineers to rebuild Yangon’s infrastructure of roads, telephony and internet works, water supply and sewage systems. On the outskirts of the city as a Japanese consortium has been asked to build a large industrial area and satellite city.

25/11 this year open Denmark and Norway common embassy in Yangon.

Two of the travellers from Kinareiser AS made this video:

Thanks!
Destinations thank Pata, EPG Travel and Thai Air for a well implemented program

Text & foto: Tor Kjølberg (november 2012)

Study Report: Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore 4 Sep - 13 Sep 2015

FAM TRIP to VIETNAM, CAMBODIA and SINGAPORE  –  SEPTEMBER 2015
Invited by PATA – Singapore Airlines and TS Travel & Event

As usual – my report is a bit long and detailed, use it on a need – to – know basis…

Vietnam is a country we have been selling for years, but it exceeded my expectations. The beauty of the landscape and the nice and friendly people makes me want to return. They also have a diversity of possible experiences that will never leave you bored. The hotels we are working with are still the best, but they have a few other hotels we could use for lower budgets or SPA holidays. Our agent Trails of Indochina is considered to be one of the best in the country and I believe they have proven this on several occasions, but TS Travel & Events is up and coming and a good agent for groups. I was also introduced to a different excursion company called VJT Adventures, arranging private excursions all over the country in old restored military jeeps and 4WD. A different, and a very social way to see the country, wonderful to drive around in open cars, day trips and longer. Please see the end of the report for websites and contact information too all mentioned.

The only challenge is the climate that is very different from north to south, even though Vietnam is really a whole year destination.

CLIMATE Thumb rule-
-North ( Hanoi and Halong Bay) – October to April, but a bit cold in Dec/Jan – autumn holiday
-Central (Danang and Hoian) – January to August ( could be rain in October/November) – Winterholiday/ Easter and Early Summer
-South ( Saigon and Con Dal) – November to May ( can be rain in June- August) Christmas/ Winter and Easter holidays.

My trip was in September and the weather in Vietnam was good all the time, maybe I was lucky! We met the rain in Cambodia…..and even there it passed quickly, though filling the streets for a couple of hours.

Flights:
Singapore Airlines from Copenhagen to Singapore – Business Class. Be aware that the equipment they use from Copenhagen is Boing 777-200ER, not their newest equipment, but old refitted with the new seats, without the latest addition of inflight system.

This meaning your most picky clients where inflight entertainment system and USB charge station in seat is important, should maybe choose Frankfurt, Munich  or London instead on their new Boing 777-300ER or Airbus 380.

The chair is the same, still amazing, wide enough for two and comfortable leather, the service impeccable and the food very good. Charger for phone and pc, (no USB), large table and very good leg space, good headphone (but my Bose are still better)

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Silk Air from SIN to HAN, from DAD to REP and REP to SIN was a nice experience. Economy class, good seats, ok leg space, serving drinks and a hot meal. The triangular routing Silkair has SIN-DAD-REP-SIN and vv is a good way to combine these countries.

Vietnam Airlines from Hai Phong to Danai – working perfectly, serving a light snack and a drink. A bit cold in the cabin, but short flight, no problem, but maybe not the biggest smiles from the flight-attendants.

Airports:
Singapore Changi airport for transit: When you arrive it’s a good idea to visit the Singapore Airlines transfer counter to receive 2 checks of 20 SGD they give to everyone who has transit. One can be used to enter a lounge if you don’t have free access, the other in a tax free shop. https://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/special-offers/transit-promotion/

Ambassador  Lounge Singapore Changi: In quiet area upstairs with quite a few nice seats and some snacks and drinks. Beside the lounge is Ambassador hotel where you can rent a room for some hours to sleep, shower if long transit. Beside this area is the airport botanical butterfly garden, a nice touch. Be aware that their Terminal 3 lounge is newly renovated = best value. Apart from this – lots of shopping possibilities at the airport.

Hanoi : Very quick and easy immigration.

Danang : Nice and mostly clean airport.

Siem Reap: Big surprise…very nice new airport built in local style, but very minimalistic and cool interior. Impressed me. The immigration takes some time, (30-45 minutes)  but also works well. You need USD 30 in cash for the Visa and another USD 2 for photos unless you have 2 passport photos with you.

Singapore Changi airport arrival: Amazingly effective…no queues, clean, pleasant, we were on our way to the hotel in less than 30 minutes.

HANOI
Arrival in Hanoi: We were met by Minh from TS Travel & Events and our guide Tuoc and were taken by minibus to Hotel Sheraton were we stayed for one night. This is not a Select hotel, but is has a very good location by the lakes and the room I had was rather nice, Grand Deluxe Room. Could be ok for lower budgets, but be aware of wall to wall carpets in all rooms and corridors. The rooms were very quiet and the area has mostly homes for foreigners, so quiet and safe. Only 25km from airport and complimentary shuttle to the city center. Taxi is also fine.
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Sofitel Metropole Legend Hotel:
This is the hotel we always use and we should continue to do so. It’s very Select in style and ambiance, beautiful rooms, wooden highly polished floors, staff wearing  national costumes (white), lots of history and style.

Historical Wing:  Luxury room is lowest category in Heritage part and Grand Deluxe room is larger with corner bathtub. Hermes  amenities in the rooms and an espresso coffee machine. In this part of the hotel they also have the original bunker used during the war for guests to shelter during bombings, the do complimentary tours of it, with a history lesson. Can be prebooked.

Opera Wing:  Premier room is lowest category and from 5-7 floor there are Grand Premier Rooms. This part is new, but they have managed to make it look old, very beautiful…down to details.

Very nice pool area, with pool bar/ snack restaurant called Bamboo Bar where it’s quiet, no music, but good signature cocktails, a fine dining restaurant and Le Club where we had High Tea and their famous chocolate buffet…..very elegant.

Apart from this they have Angelina Restaurant for Italian Dining and DJ every night from 9PM,

Spices Garden Restaurant with Asian and Vietnamese cuisine and Le Beaulieu for contemporary haute brasserie with French Cuisine and Sunday brunch
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To do in Hanoi: Bicycle “taxi” tour to see the city center and shopping area, a maze of streets with lots of shops, almost like a market. Visit also the One Pillar Pagoda,  the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum , the Vietnamese women’s museum and go around Westlake by bicycle. Try also to cross the road by foot, with help of someone who knows how. The traffic is pretty wild, they will not stop when you cross, just go around you, so walk at a steady pace, do not run.

HALONG BAY :  3 1/2 hour drive from Hanoi, one stop on the way for “happy room” at a handicap center with very clean toilets. They have a workshop where they produce and sell all from chopsticks to bags and clothes. Could have been tacky, but was actually quite nice and it felt good to buy something from them. We were told that during the war the Americans sprayed the Forrest in this area to be able to see the VietCong better from the air and the people here still suffer from the after effects.

Arrival to a nice port area Tuan Chau Wharf and transported to the ship by tender. The ship, Pelican Cruise, was exceeding expectations. Very classic in style, nice rooms, good size bathrooms for a cruiser, only French  balcony in rooms, terraces in the 2 suites. Food was plenty, tasty and very nicely presented. We were presented the program by the cruise director and there is not much time to really enjoy the ship.
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But I managed a SPA session and a swim in the very warm sea. Our program included a visit to a large grotto and the floating village of VungVeng where it’s also possible to follow up with kayaking and a swim. In the evening there was a cooking class on sun deck. Also a very nice Tai Chi class on sundeck early in the morning….
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As travel agents we were also shown another grotto named Trong that is used for dinner events for incentive groups, a very nice natural venue. Something to consider with groups.

Very picturesque and relaxing. I also had a Tai Chi session on the upper deck at sun up 6 am.  I think I would have loved a 2 nights cruise, to spend a bit more time cruising.

Only minus is that there is a port in Halong Bay and some big tankers that destroys the pretty scenery from time to time. Also in the night,  all the cruise ships anchor up in the same place to be in a good position for the Sung Sot grotto in the morning, felt a bit crowded. The grotto tour can be challenging for elderly and poor legs, lots of steps. But a nice morning exercise for us, dramatic scenery inside the grotto, it’s really big. I have an idea that a 2 nights cruise, including Bai Tu Long Bay could be a bit more Select. Gives also a bit more time for a swim, SPA and relax.

Hai Phong city is an old  military town with a colorful market and an airport, mostly used for flights out of Halong Bay if you don’t want to drive back to Hanoi. There is an afternoon flight to Da Nang. The people who live here are very direct, not as pleasant as the ones we met in Hanoi and Da Nang. A bit hardened by a tough life, not many smiles to see. Heavily bombed during the war.

DANANG/HANOI – up and coming beach and culture destination in fast change. It has grown from a small provincial backwater to a spectacular city with everything you may need. Good hotels, bars, restaurants, only a short drive from Unesco protected Hoian and a good starting point for excursions to Son Tra Peninsula with the Monkey Mountain and Bach Ma National Park. It’s also a very good starting point for bicycle trips around Hoian to visit the rice fields and small farms.

Hotels: Our chosen hotel The Nam Hai is still the best, sell with confidence. What an amazing beach and pool area. The rooms are breathtaking and they seem professional to their fingertips. I met our contact, Ms Debbie Chee, that’s one tough lady.
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Another good one could be Fusion Maia Spa Resort. I saw it in evening light only, but it looked really nice and with 2 spa sessions a day included in the room rate you are set for a relaxing holiday. All rooms are villas with private pool, they have a nice beach and good central location in Danang. Had a very nice dinner at their Five Dining Room.
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Other properties:
Pullman Danang Beach Resort is fairly new, large, good for groups. Very nice ambiance, but with a few service issues in dining/bar outlets. Extensive breakfast buffet, beautiful beach and very nice pool area. Some nice Penthouse suites on the top floor towards the beach – spa in basement location, a bit dungeon feel….but nice. I liked the property, but it’s not for our top clients. 4+

Furama Resort is a bit dated, needs a total refurbishment, but was the first 5 * property in Danang 18 years ago. Now I would say it’s maximum a 4* in a fantastic garden with the best location in town. The rooms looks like they have been re-done several times and keeping one piece of furniture every time, a bit flee market. They have a new Villa part that is 4*+ though, could be something for the clients who wants villa living. It will probably be sold as a separate property, not all are done yet.  This property has received lots of prices so looks could be deceiving, but I felt they are ” resting on their laurels”

Best experience: Bicycle Tour to Tra Que Herb Village.
I was a bit worried about this trip, but there was no reason to. The bikes were in good condition, the roads good and mostly car free, beautiful scenery, a nice breeze cycling along the waters and rice fields, through small villages in the shadow of the Banyan trees. Wonderful….

After the cycle trip we stopped at one of the herb farms where we learned about the farming, had a light foot and shoulder massage to ease up after the “exercise” and then we also farmed a very small piece of land….nice experience. Then to top everything we had a cooking class where we learned to make Sizzling Cake or Vietnamese Pizza….lots of fun and very tasty. Maybe the best meal on the trip.
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CAMBODIA – SIEM REAP
Best travel time is our winter, from Mid October to April

As mentioned before – the airport was a big surprise. Very modern and well functioned. Siem Reap is a built for Angkor Wat, their very famous temple. There always was a city around the temple and there are many more temples than Angkor Wat, maybe the other most famous one is the Ta Prom Temple known from Angelina Jolie’s movie Tomb Raider from  2001. I think 3 temples a day should be maximum, but the temples are the reason you go to Siem Reap, and the people of the area use every opportunity to try to sell you something on your way from/to the temples. Small children are selling postcards, pens, books…..and they are quite persistent. A bit sad, they should be playing instead. In the center there is a street where all the backpackers and other travelers
gather in the night time – Pub Street. Loud music, bars and massage shops. Not very Select, but fun for the young at heart.

I had only 2 nights in Siem Reap and arriving late and leaving late that should be enough. But 3 nights would also be nice to have time for some culture other than temples, like social life, villages etc. We did not have time due to extensive site inspections.

Hotel Amansara – is our no. 1 and should still be it. A quiet oasis in prime location. All rooms have their own “remork” ( Cambodian TukTuk) for easy excursions. It’s located in the former guest residence of King Sihanouk. I met Faith Famoso Ramos, reservation Manager, another clever lady that knows us well.
Bilde 11

Belmond La Residence D’ Angkor is a good no.2
Very nice property with prime location, built like a lookalike temple. Had lunch, top of the line.
Bilde 12

Victoria Hotel is a very colonial overlooking the Royal Park is no 3 and shares that space with Sarai Resort, a very nice surprise. Moroccan style boutique hotel, walking distance from the city center and  maybe a mismatch in style being in Cambodia…but very nice.
Bilde 13

Somadewi Angkor Boutique I am sorry to say that this new hotel was a bit disappointing when it came to cleanliness and condition….sad to see how deteriorated it is after only 7 months in business. It could have been amazing…..very nice design and idea. They have a bakery in the lobby area that will appeal to Scandinavian travelers.

FCC Angkor – forget it, prime location, but stay clear.
Le Meridien – good for groups and conference.

SINGAPORE
The program in Singapore was arranged by our long time friend Helen Goe from Vacation Asia Singapore.  This was my first visit to Singapore and I really like this city. It feels clean, tidy, efficient, modern, safe and fun. I could easily spend 2-3 nights and would not be scared to be travel alone. Taxi is very reasonably priced and there are plenty of shopping and cultural experiences to be had.

The good hotels are many and we have our favorites – Mandarin Oriental and The Fullerton Bay – unfortunately I did not see any of them. Here’s the ones I saw and my opinion:

Ritz Carlton Millenia – 5* –  my favorite, definitely Select style, with a very cool new brand restaurant “Colony” that will open soon for all day dining. Very nice rooms, chic ambiance and good but maybe not prime location in Marina Bay. The rooms has bathtub with a view, very romantic. Their Director of Travel Industry Sales, Ms Mona Ismail, is a gem.

Raffles  – an institution in town – Singapore Sling and peanuts in their Long Bar was a nice experience. Did not see their hotel product, but it should be very nice and colonial.

InterContinental was a very nice property, the rooms are large and beautifully designed. Good sized bathrooms with rain shower. Good location for walking out in the city.

Goodwood Park – for those who likes colonial style but does not want to pay for Raffles.
Occupies maybe one of the best locations in town, on a small hill. Very German colonial, a bit gloomy, need some color. The elevators are so slow you can run the stairs at an easy pace beside it.  The towerblock was built in 1900 and so were the elevators maybe. The poolside suites were the nicest rooms.

Pan Pacific – 5* – how to make a business hotel look leisure – very cool property with a huge reception area that have managed to look cozy by having lots of different small venues for a snack, drink or lunch/dinner. At New Years Eve they have a big party where they drop 50 000 balloons from the roof down to the lobby, and there is a gift in 200 of themThe rooms are very nice and fairly large, with open window between bedroom and bathroom to give more light, flatscreen tv and a drawer with all the cables you might need to connect your equipment.  The Pacific Club for the club clients is amazing, located on top flor with 360 degrees view of the city, open 24 hours. Always book Club Room

Pacific Club Privileges
-Enjoy exclusive privileges as our Pacific Club guest.
-Champagne breakfast at Pacific Club or buffet breakfast at Edge, from 6:00am to 10:30am or in-room dining breakfast
-Afternoon tea from 3:00pm to 5:00pm
-Sunset cocktails and canapés from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
-24-hour club service
-Late check-out until 2:00pm
-Use of Pacific Club private dining rooms for up to two hours with prior reservation
-50% savings on secretarial services at the Pacific Centre
-A choice of pillows from our Pillow Menu
-Pressing and laundry of up to two pieces of clothing per night of stay (non-cumulative)
-Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages from the in-room mini bar
-Guests above the age of 12 years old are welcome at Pacific Club
-Smart-casual dress code applies

Marina Bay Sands – this hyped up property is not for our clients. I did not see the hotel product, just walked through the building and had a drink in the rooftop bar Ce La Vie – but it’s like a shopping mall. Stay at Pan Pacific and photograph it from their Club instead.

Marina Mandarin – business and Mice hotel, quite nice, 4+ with a very extensive and nice lunch buffet.
Bilde 14

 

Nordic Nomads: A new Nordic collaboration of publisers

Nordic Nomads just announced the expansion of Nordic Nomads, a unique co-operation for publishers in the Nordic countries. 

Having reviewed many good applications, Nordic Nomads are happy to present 10 new nomads from Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway who met the requirements set:

  • Stenmann from Globe Called Home
  • Ekteparet Helena og Peter Bergström from Freedomtravel
  • Hanne Hellvik from Places People Stories
  • Zana Jaganjac from World of a Travelholic
  • Annette Seier from On Trip
  • Twins Michelle and Sheena Rasmussen from Schinimichi
  • Satu Vänskä-Westgarth from Destination Unknown
  • Hanne Marit Tobiassen from Sekk og Sandaler
  • Gia Forsman-Härkönen from Matkakuume
  • Annika Myhre from Resfredag

Read more about the new members here 

The new nomads are experienced travelers and publish content on topics such as wanderlust, culture and experiences from around the world. They are traveling writers, photographers and/or bloggers who describe the world through their own eyes, and do so with passion within their defined niches on their own publishing platforms.

– We are so exited and look forward to be collaborating with new Nordic colleagues who also love to travel, the founders of Nordic Nomads say.

Nordic Nomads will be accepting new members next fall/ winter.

Read more about the network, the mission and the vision here

About the founders

Nordic Nomads was launched in January as the first Nordic community of its kind by the Norwegian travel writers, -photographers and –bloggers ;

They all have various backgrounds, but also a common passion for travel and communication about culture, people and travel experiences around the world.

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Register today for the 9th UNWTO/PATA Forum on tourism trends and outlook

Guilin, China
19-21 October 2015

Dear Colleagues and Friends,
We are pleased to inform you that at the gracious invitation of the People’s Government of Guilin of China, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) are organising the 9th UNWTO/PATA Forum on Tourism Trends and Outlook scheduled to be held in Guilin, China from 19-21 October 2015. This year´s forum will be organised again in collaboration with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

The forum has been successfully held eight times previously in Guilin. Our aim in staging such a forum is to provide an annual Pan-Asia-Pacific platform for policy makers, senior officials, researchers and industry representatives to take stock of global and regional trends and to better understand their potential impacts on tourism development. The event, under the joint umbrella of UNWTO and PATA, will allow participants to share information, analyse current tourism situation, and map out the next course of action for the future.  Overarched under the theme of “Tourism and the Experience Economy”, this 9th Forum aims to deliver on the following objectives:

  • To share state-of-the-art research and industry practices in developing tourism in the realm of the experience economy.
  • To analyse and update global and regional tourism trends and challenges in connection to tourism and the experience economy.
  • To explore and formulate new problems for future research on tourism as an experience economy.

In light of the foregoing, we are extending this invitation to you and your administration or institution to attend this conference and to participate actively in the discussions so as to provide us with insights into the various scenarios facing the tourism industry now and in the years to come. There is no registration fee to join this event.

Please click Preliminary Programme, General Information Notes, Technical Notes and Registration Form to download for review. You can also visit www.PATA.org/portfolio/9th-unwtopata-forum/ for more information.

We will be most grateful if you could confirm your attendance before 30 September 2015. We look forward to receiving your affirmative response to our invitation.

Kind regards,
Signatur

PATA summer party

Monday June 8 PATA invited all members to seminar and summer party. The seminar was a success and many more than expected showed up to listen to the counselor Lena Petersson from Flerveis Kommunikasjon and director Sverre McSeveny-Åril from Virke Utland. We learned more about the new proposed package travel directive from the European Union, challenges with “dynamic packages”, definitions, responsibilities and obligations. Lena had focus on the future and how we as travel operators must meet customers in other arenas and perhaps on slightly different terms than we have done until now? Win or disappear was her introduction to the lecture and she talked about the digital tourism. What we did before and what we have to deal with today; Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, PM, YouTube etc etc. Our customers are more important than ever, we must know them and take good care of them. She also focused on the importance that the industry stands together.

Splpl

After the seminar it was time for a cruise with M/S Christiania and the weather was perfect. We will remember this summer night for a long time. For three hours we sailed around in Oslo’s beautiful archipelago and the sun were shining from a cloudless sky. Beautiful shrimp and a glass of wine/beer made the evening perfect. We thank all members for an enjoyable evening and look forward to seeing you all again soon.

sommerfest

Summer greetings from,
the PATA Norway Board

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Study Trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore 4 - 13 September 2015

Invitation
PATA Norway and Singapore Airlines are pleased to invite you to join us for an exotic, exciting and exclusive educational trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore 4 – 13 September 2015.

The trip starts in historic Hanoi and continues to breathtaking Halong Bay, before continuing south to the beautiful beaches and resorts of Da Nang and Hoi An. After leaving Vietnam, we head to Siam Reap in Cambodia to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angor Wat. The last stop is spectacular Singapore before our return back home.

The land arrangements in Vietnam and Cambodia are in the expert hands of TS Travel & Event, and Vacation Singapore is our host in Singapore. Hotel partners include Sheraton Hanoi, Pullman Danang Beach Resort, Somadevi Angkor Boutique Hotel and the InterContinental Singapore. A five star one night cruise is hosted by Pelican Halong Cruise.

Registration process
The trip has been planned to provide valuable insight for the premium leisure travel trade with a focus on five star hotels.

Please send us an e-mail before 20 June to post@pata.no stating why you would like to join this educational trip.

All suppliers organizing the trip will evaluate the candidates and determine the participants. Preference will be given to agents committed to developing sales to Vietnam and Cambodia.

There are a limited number of seats. Registrations are binding once the seat has been confirmed back to you.

Price
The total cost of this educational trip is NOK 6 900 per person sharing a twin room. Single rooms can be requested at an added cost of NOK 2 600 per person, subject to availability at the time of booking.

Included
– Flights on SQ, MI and VN as specified in the program
– All accommodation as specified in the program
– Meals as specified in the program
– All transfers and transportation with air-conditioned vehicles
– All entrance fees as per program
– Farm tour in Tra Que Village in Hoi An
– Remork tour in Siem Reap
– City sightseeing in Singapore
– Mineral water per person per day
– Government tax
– Tour escort from PATA and Singapore Airlines
– Local English speaking guides as specified in the program

 Excluded
– Feeder flights to/from Copenhagen
– Travel insurance (compulsory)
– Visa to Cambodia (USD 55 per person)
– Beverages and other meals not indicate in the program
– Items of a personal nature
– Additional transport required due to any emergency situation
– Tipping/ Gratuities for tour Guides and Drivers
– Personal expenses such as telephone and laundry bills, shopping…
– Any additional expenses caused by reasons beyond our control

Invitation – FAM trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore

We look forward to welcoming you on board!

Welcome to TravelMatch 2016

Welcome to TravelMatch 2016 Oslo, Norway – January 15th, 2016
The Travel Trade Day 2016

It is our pleasure to welcome you once again to attend the professional B2B Workshop, celebrating the 5th edition of the event in January 2016! On this occasion, a new concept will be introduced, with TravelMatch being part of a full day Travel Trade event. Due to the previous success, the basic concept of TravelMatch remains the same, but to make attending more efficient and fruitful for both sellers and buyers, we have made some important changes. Being part of a complete schedule, you can more easily combine the B2B workshop and the consumer fair. We are also happy to announce that this event will be held at a venue that can accommodate all the participants in one room, making it easier to have walk in business as well. And some visual and practical improvements will also be made to the booking system, accommodating the needs of the participants.

Concept:
TravelMatch is a professional B2B workshop being organized for the 5th time in 2016, owned jointly by ANTOR, Discover America, PATA and Virke (the travel agents association). This is a compact event, where suppliers of all kinds of travel related products & services from and outside Norway have the chance to meet with Norwegian buyers and distributors in the Norwegian market. The event is based on pre-scheduled meetings. The news this coming year, is that the event will be held as part of a compact Travel Trade Day, in the conference center at Telenor Arena on Friday, where the consumer fair Reiselivsmessen opens in the main hall on the same day following the TravelMatch event.

Sellers profile:
This event is primarily suitable for national and regional tourist offices, DMC´s and incoming agents, airlines, ferry companies, cruise lines, hotel chains and other major suppliers of travel services.

Attendance fee:
Fee per company with one table/one person attending: NOK 5.000 (approx. Euros 600). Fee per company with two companies sharing a table: NOK 3.500 (approx. Euros 360). For a second person from the same company, the price is NOK 800 (approx. Euros 100).
Buyers profile:
Buyers in attendance will represent travel agencies, tour operators, event companies, incentive houses, meeting planners and corporate accounts from larger companies.

Preliminary program:
This event starts in the morning, lasting until lunch, accommodating for a good number of pre-scheduled meetings, also with options for adding some walk in appointments if the schedule of the company allows. After lunch, there will be the official opening of the consumer fair Reiselivsmessen, accessed by walking down the stairs from the conference center at Telenor Arena.

Venue:
The event shall be held in the Telenor Arena, a bit outside the city center, but in the same venue as the consumer fair Reiselivsmessen is being held. The venue can be reached easily from the city center by bus, or from other destinations with a combination of train and bus. For more info about the venue, please see the TravelMatch website www.travelmatch.no or the website of the venue www.telenorarena.no.

Evening event:
The TravelMatch attendees shall be invited to attend some evening event gathering the travel industry, but the registration shall be separate and at a discounted price, but not included in the package. More details will follow later.

Accommodation:
Various hotel options are located both close to the venue and in the down town area, close to the buses going to the venue. Special offers will be posted on the website a bit later.

Registration and procedures:
For qualified sellers attending previously, as well as new entries matching the seller profile, we shall approve your request by first come-first serve. As we would like to have a good balance, there will only be a limited number of partners from the same country or region. TravelMatch hold the rights to select the partners to be accepted.

Our aim is to have relevant sellers that will attract interest from the buyers, covering a wide scope, both as to the type of operation and the geographical area being covered. The registration online shall open early September, but you can announce your interest by sending an email to meet@travelmatch.no.

Booking system:
Registration of sellers and buyers, as well as the booking of meetings and exchange of information, will take place online. The system is totally transparent and interactive, allowing you to enter at any time to adjust your information, request meetings and monitor your meeting schedule. Booking of meetings is based on a step by step process; you can request a meeting with any registered buyer; then an email will be sent to this person announcing your request; and finally the buyer need to approve the meeting. Only after this, the meeting is registered in the calendar. The same process will be available for the buyers, where they can register a request, and you need to approve it to book the meeting. The staus of the requests will be marked by color symbols.

TravelMatch – www.travelmatch.no – meet@travelmatch.no – Tel.: +47-91198290

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Is Boeing ready for Asia Pacific’s next chapter ?

Asia Pacific is set to become the largest air travel market in the world and, by 2033, experts anticipate that 48 percent of global traffic will be to, from, or within the region. To accommodate those staggering numbers, as many as 13,460 new airplanes will be needed. Dr. Dinesh Keskar, senior VP of Asia Pacific & India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, reports on the latest opportunities.

With such tough competition in Asia, what is Boeing’s sales pitch? For example, how does Boeing convince Air India to order the Dreamliner over Airbus?

Before the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines, almost 7 years ago, we had offered a significant transaction for our 777s and 787s. Because of our superior product and what we offer our airline customers, we were able to convince Air India. That sort of decision-making goes all the way to the Cabinet — in India they do very detailed and thorough analysis of everything.

Our market focus today in India is roughly $205 billion with 1,600 new airplanes for the next 20 years. As a byproduct, we have also built a huge state-of-the-art maintenance facility for $100 million that has been handed over to Air India.

How does a concept like the Dreamliner even take form?

We are continuously talking with the airlines and visionaries around the world about the next big thing. In early 2000, there was a debate over whether to build an airplane that goes 20 times faster or one that is 20 percent more cost-effective at the same speed. That’s how the 787 came to life.

Will there be a next “big thing” after the Dreamliner?

The 777X was the largest product launch in commercial jetliner history by value, mostly in the Middle East: Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways. Just like the Dreamliner was a game-changer, the two variants of the 777X will open new routes, will be highly efficient and the economics will be significantly better.

Air India once said that the Dreamliners would be at the center of its of the plan to revive its fortunes, but now reports say it is reviewing its orders. What are your thoughts on this transition?

Airlines in India operate in a dynamic market. You cannot have four 747s and take on the world. We went through a period in which Air India was not leading the world in terms of technology, and now they have one of the largest 787 Dreamliner fleets anywhere in the world.

Air India’s 20 787 Dreamliners are providing them with superior performance, which has allowed them to open new routes and make progress in their turn-around plans. In regards to the airline “reviewing” its orders, Air India is very happy with their Dreamliners. As our customers such Air India evaluate their fleet needs we work with them to provide the right products and services. We are currently in talks with them to swap some of their 787-8s for 787-9s — the larger variant of the Dreamliner family.

Are there challenges in air travel that are unique to India?

In India, the number-one thing I have concerns about is supply and demand. Fuel prices are good now, but India has significant fuel taxes at federal and state levels. The exchange rate has stabilized, which has a significant impact because they pay for these costs in U.S. dollars. If we didn’t have these conditions, it would be difficult for airlines to exist. Despite the challenges though, we remain bullish on the long-term potential of the Indian aviation market.

With so many underserved regions in India, what is the outlook on regional jet travel? Are people ready to trade rail travel for air?

In India, the market is very sensitive to price, however the middle class is getting bigger and better. In the early 1980s and 1990s, air travel was too expensive and the train was the only means of travel. Now, with the privatization of airlines in India, Jet Airways, Indigo, GoAir, and Spice Jet have all enhanced the quality of domestic travel to India and it has given people economical choices.

Where else in Asia is Boeing seeing significant growth?

China, India and Indonesia will be the growth markets of the future, and coming close on their heels is the Philippines.

The growth rate in Indonesia, in particular, is phenomenal. Boeing has done its largest-ever deal in Indonesia when LionAir ordered 201 737 MAXs and 29 Next-Generation 737-900ERs for $21.7 billion. Last year, Garuda Indonesia ordered 50 737 Max 8 airplanes with a list value of $4.9 billion.

The low-cost carriers in Asia will also be a significantly large market. Overall, Asia Pacific airlines will need 9,540 new airplanes to expand their single-aisle fleets, and LCCs are expected to take 40 percent of single-aisle deliveries.

With such rapid growth of air travel in Asia, how does that impact issues as pilot shortages and quality training?

The regulators want to see safe and reliable transportation, and that is fundamental. As growth increases there is a lot of pilot movement and, in particular, we’re seeing a big migration of pilots going to the Middle East.

The only way we can solve that is to create infrastructure for training, to produce adequate pilots and mechanics. It doesn’t happen overnight. The good thing is the new technology on aircraft like the 787 and the 777X has become so easy to use.

We are predicting that airlines will need 36,800 new planes by the early 2030s with Asia Pacific accounting for about 37 percent of that. The airlines plan for it, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure they are adequately prepared to fly.

Source: PATA Conversations http://www.pataconversations.com/dinesh-keskar-boeing/

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The PATA executive board would like to welcome all members to our summer party featuring an educational pre party.

We are going out on the fjord onboard the beautiful sail ship Christiania, where we will enjoy fresh shrimps from ship’s shrimp-buffet, some refreshing beverages and the good company of nice colleagues. You simply can’t miss this event!

Before we set sails for the fjord, there will be an educational seminar with Sverre McSeveny-Åril, the executive manager of international travel at Virke, and Lena Petersson, councillor at Flerveis kommunikasjon. They will provide us with an update and their visions for the future of the travel industry.

-How does the traditional travel agency fare against technological online travel agencies? (OTAs)
-Are the OTAs a threat against the smaller agencies, or do the customers still want personal advice for their journey?
-How will the newly proposed EU “pakkereiselov” affect the OTAs?
-How should the travel agencies adapt in order to get the customers back?-Will the home based travel consultant trend reach Norway?

Time: Monday June 8th 04.30 PM (we start with the educational part of the arrangement)

Place: HRG Nordic, Tordenskioldsgate 8

We set sail at 06:30 PM and return to Rådhuskaien around 09:45 PM.
Menu: Shrimp-bufeet and something good to drink.

Fee: You pay NOK 100,- when you arrive (no-shows will be invoiced for NOK 200)

RSVP: Due May 25th – max capacity 90 – e-mail post@pata.no to sign up.
We hope as many of our members as possible can take some time of their schedules and join us for an exciting seminar and a “cruise” this evening.

Summer greetings
The PATA Norway executive board

The summer party is arranged in cooperation with Flyservice
2015-06-Sommerfest-og-Flyservice

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PTM 2015 in Bangalore: Early Bird - 50% discount for registrations within 31.May

PTM 2015 in Bangalore – Special Package for Norwegian buyers – code “NORWA77”

For the hosted buyer programme, please kindly note that we will provide 50% fee reimbursement to buyers who register before May 31st. The buyer fee is USD750 for Package A –  and we shall extend a 50% fee reimbursement after the event, therefore the total cost would be approximately USD375 only (including air & hotel).

Package A – buyer registration comprises:

  • One set of 30 business appointments with PTM2015 sellers (pre-matching)
  • One economy return air ticket between Bangalore and buyer’s country (details will be confirmed later)
  • 4 night hotel accommodation in a 4-5 star hotel in Bangalore, assigned by PATA
  • Airport transfers during official days of the event
  • Participation in official social functions

Programme at a glance:

Saturday, September 5, 2015

  • PTM2015 Tourism Investment Forum
  • Buyer/Seller/Media delegate registration

Sunday, September 6, 2015

  • Last day to arrive in Bangalore, India
  • Buyer/Seller/Media delegate registration
  • Complimentary Half-day tour
  • PTM 2015 Opening Ceremony

Monday, September 7, 2015

  • PTM 2015 Seller-meet-Buyer Open Hall Sessions
  • PTM 2015 Business session
  • Delegate Dinner Reception (subject to sponsorship)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

  • PTM 2015 Business session
  • Delegate Dinner Reception (subject to sponsorship)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

  • Departure or Post Tours

PTM2015 Final brochure is available on our website at  http://www.pataprodigy.org/CStaff/JC/PTM2015_Brochure_A4.pdf .

Buyer online registration page: http://www.patatravelmart.com/registration/buyer_reg.php

Further details about PTM2015: www.PATA.org/mart

For questions reg. the event and registration please contact Angkana@pata.org

We look forward to seeing you in Bangalore!

Address

PATA Norway Chapter
c/o Russell Taylor
Steinalderveien 7B,
1407 Vinterbro,
Norway.

Contact Us


Email: post@pata.no

PATA Nyhetsbrev / Newsletter